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my adult children are mean and hateful towards me.... heartbroken

Started by tona, March 17, 2012, 04:51:45 am

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My childhood consisted of emotional, physical and sexual abuse by my father.  Both of my parents were alcoholic's.  All I can say is that it was horrible.  Growing up I vowed never to be like them and that I would do the complete opposite of what my parents did.  I married young and had 4 children.  My husband became abusive and I left him and went into a woman's shelter. My children were 1,2,3, and 5 years old.  After that, everything seemed to be coming together. I worked and went to college and supported my family.    I remarried to a wonderful man that treated me and the children great.  I have been with him for 14 years.  The kids and I love him.  I had 2 daughters by him. 
I have 6 children and I did what I said.  I gave them everything they ever needed. I never abused them in any way, I don't drink, and I have always loved them unconditionally.  I thought that it would be enough considering what my childhood was like.  Now I am heartbroken.  My oldest daughter treats me like crap and blames me for everything.   My youngest son is an alcoholic and hates me also.  He called me yesterday and told me basically that I was a bad mom,in many hurtful words.  I cant stop crying.  My other 2 oldest children say that I was a good mom.  I have my two youngest children still at home.  Two daughters one is 14 and one is 8.  The 14 year old is autistic but I love her so much and do everything I can to make her life easier.  They seem to be happy just like my other children were when they were young.  I am tired of being hurt when I did do the best that i could as a parent. I wasn't a perfect parent but I did my best .  I have even thought of leaving before my two girls at home grow up to hate me too. The sad thing is that I have a big heart and I always dreamed of having a close family, but that is diffidently not happening.  I feel like I tried my hardest and It wasn't good enough, so where do I go from here, any advice would help.


I am sorry you are hurting.  Nobody is the perfect parent, but we do the best we can. The fact that some of the children feel you did a good job tells me something!  You got out of a bad situation, made something of yourself, your husband of 14 years sounds awesome...i personally think the problem might lie with 2 ungrateful kids!!!  I would not sit and cry, and if they want to blame you for all their woes it's their problem!  I would not leave if I were you. If they are mistreating you and being mean...PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN. Expect respect, set up your boundaries!  You came to a great place for support. Take care of you!  j


QuoteMy husband became abusive and I left him and went into a woman's shelter.

I believe genetics is a very, very strong pull - nature is stronger than nurture.  I'm wondering if your two "abusive" children inherited that aspect from their father.  If so, it is what it is.  Two children love you (as well as the two younger girls) - I suspect they are more like "you" in temperament.  Sometimes, we just get what we get and it is what it is.  As mothers we can influence our children and we try to guide them, but in the end, it is their path and their lives.  So troubling as most of us try overly hard ...  So sorry ....


I am sorry you are suffering so much. I wish I didn't, but i understand how you feel.

I too have 6 kids. Without going into details, I have been estranged from all but one child during their passage from teenager to adulthood. I am currently estranged from my youngest, 17, after receiving a hate filled letter from him in December. I have good relations now with the 3 oldest, and courteous but guarded and somewhat distant relations with numbers 4 and 5.

I do agree with the post above regarding genetics. My XH's family has multiple estrangements of ridiculously long standing, like 30+ years. So long that nobody can remember the original disagreement. I never witnessed anything like this in my FOO, so when my kids turned on me like rabid dogs for no logical reason, I was dumbfounded and devastated.

I am fortunate that they seem to grow up a bit and come around, but it has left me scarred and insecure, always expecting one of them to suddenly hate me  again. I still suffer from the estrangement from my baby, and all I can do is hope he comes to see the light, or softens his heart, or maybe simply grows up. I remind myself I was a good mother. I remember they are inexperienced and clueless about life. I look at pictures that confirm I gave them a secure and fun childhood. I still cry occasionally, and pour my heart out to my husband, who defends me like a junkyard dog. I read here and feel less alone.

It's their issue. Allow yourself to stop focusing on it. You force yourself to focus on something else, I don't think it even matters what it is as long as it takes your mind off them for a while. It takes practice. You will get tougher. You will go longer and longer between hurting.

Don't even listen to the bashing. I was fortunate that my kids' MO was the silent treatment. It would have been much harder if I felt the need to defend myself constantly from verbal abuse.

Do something today you enjoy. *hug*


I am very glad you found us, but sad that you needed to, if that makes sense. Your story is fairly common here so you're bound to get more support & wisdom. We moms who loved unconditionally and gave our all can be easy targets for AC who may be insecure about their own abilities or place in the world. As CM said, it's their issue (but your pain, unfortunately.) Also, having a child at home w/special needs can take a toll on a family; my DS is just now getting over some of his resentment of the embarrassment of having a disabled sister and the extra time I had to spend with her for various reasons. DH & I worked hard to "even it out" but apparently DS didn't think we succeeded.

Please take a minute or two to read the pink-highlighted materials under the topic "Open Me First" on the home page. We ask this of all new members to make sure the site is a good fit for you and that you understand site procedures & policies.

Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb


You have been the best mother you could as we all do our best.  Sure we make mistakes but we were learning too.  Our DC should not treat us like that.  They should be respectful even if they don't agree with what we are saying.  No need for name calling. Some kids nowadays are rude and selfish and spoiled I think. 
I was were you are now just over a month ago. when my DD shut me out of her life and called me some pretty bad things.  My other child DS loves us very much and can't even speak to his sister anymore. He is so hurt by her actions and words.  See she has been abusing alcohol for a long time and is out of all control now.  So I know how you feel. It is awful but it will get better
as soon as you realize you can't change them or make them any better.  That's their choice.  You did the best you could.  This site will really help you as it did for me.  I feel much calmer now that I realize this and so many of us have problems with our DC.  I can't believe how many of us that there is.
I think about my problems every day still but try to come to terms with it.
Right now we are in a custody battle with her over her son.  We are helping
our ex SIL try to get full custody.  That was the worst decision as a parent
that I think we have ever had to make so far.  Breaks our hearts and I know she will never speak to me again.  She can't see or understand what she is doing to this little defensless boy.  But we do. 
And I could never have the courage or accept what is going on right now without the dear friends on this wonderful site.
You have come to the right place.  Forgive yourself and take care of yourself.
Lots of Love

Keys Girl

There are many of us in the same boat. 

Our adult children "punish" us for their own reasons, and I'm often reminding of the phrase "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child" written by Shakespeare in 1605.  Sadly, some things never change.

Hang in there,
"Today I will be as happy as a seagull with a french fry." Author Unknown


When someone is coming at you with both barrels, I think most people would instantly gravitate to thinking "oh, what did I do. I must have done something. And begin to search their memory bank for all the possible reasons why ac act in this hateful way."   I think that says something instantly as to what kind of a mother you and we are.  We are and were good mothers. Know that and tell yourself that as often as you can.  I, too, have 6 children and 1 daughter has been hateful and mean to me for a very long time.  It crushes you and devastates you, but I learned to let her have her own feelings and keep my boundaries.  I will no longer take any disrespectful behavior and as soon as I did that the anger and the hurt gradually melted away until now it comes only once in a while.  As Luise always says our expectations of a close family and parental respect are not always ac's expectations.  It is about grieving that loss, and going on.  So today, do something good for yourself, take a deep breath, and talk to yourself, and your self respect will heal you.  And realize your ac choices are theirs and theirs alone.  To tell you the truth I don't really like who my daughter has become.  She is someone I would never be.  That is sad to say but true.  I am not responsible for anything she does now and I have to remind myself of that.  I have let it go and let it be.  I hope you reach your safe place too, eventually.  What you did do was good enough.  It is hard to face the fact that our own flesh and blood could turn out to be so ugly, but there are factors working here that I don't think you had any control over.  I, too, believe in inheriting personality types.  You have nothing to do with that.  I always thought I worked very hard at being a good mom.  You did your job.  It is done. Let them go.  Sometimes you smile at them as ac and sometimes not.  It is all their choices now.


Tona, I so feel for you. What you express is very much the way I feel, too. I have two daughters and one is good to me. I know she loves me. The other, I'm afraid, is like her father. I agree with what Pen said about inherited characteristics. Sometimes nurture is just not enough to overcome the genes. With my DD, I see that the other half of the gene pool is very, very important. I could divorce her Dad, but I had no idea that I'd have to relive this pain again with my own daughter. Elsewhere, I mentioned a personality disorder and I do believe that is what she inherited from him. In this case, it's anti-social personality disorder. Of course, those afflicted never go for help because, after all, there is nothing wrong with *them,* only with other people. Of course, she makes her choices, and I decided that I will no longer make excuses for her or make up a story in my head about her to excuse her. That really would be insulting because it would be denying that she is an adult and she is responsible for everything she does and says, just like everyone else is, including me. I can also relate to everything Somom says ... there is such wisdom and comfort here. It helps to know that we are not the only ones and that our pain is not because we did anything wrong or were unworthy of being loved by those who should love us most of all.

Beth 2011

Welcome tona,  as you can see,  alot of us have dealt with or we are learning to deal with the same issues, you are not alone.  My AC has made the choice not to have anything to do with FOO.  This is his choice not mine.  Please remind yourself that they are AC and make their own choices.  I am not saying it is easy because it has taken me a long time to get to that place.  Wishing you peace.


Welcome Tona and so sorry for your troubles.  You did your best and many us of have figured out here that our AC have different takes on their childhoods than what they really were.  It's a hard place to be.  I have 2 boys, both with the same raising.  One thinks apparently that he had a bad childhood, the other remembers his as being nothing but good.  I think personality plays a big role in that.  Everyone has things happen in their childhood that they can remember as being bad, even if that is just so much as being grounded for 6 weeks.  It's what the person chooses to remember about the event that sets their tone.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Tona, take heart.  Lots of us here have very similar experiences.  It's hard.  I also believe that genetics pull our children strongly in different directions, some are just inherently inclined to want to blame and aggravate.  My DS (now over 30) lives his entire life from a standpoint of blame and hatefulness.  It is so sad for me, because he is intelligent, and has a cute sense of humor if he would use it, and he has such potential to be successful...but that's an old story and I've finally come to terms with the fact that I have no power to change the course of his life.  I stayed severely depressed for many, many years because of the anguish associated with my DS.  It robbed me of so much of the joy and fulfillment of life that should have been mine.

I also think that for people who are really trying to live honest lives of integrity, getting an attack letter or phone call immediately plunges them into guilt and anguish.  I have learned here to navigate around that response a little more these days.  I try and step back and sort through it all, there's always SOME element of truth in an attack, but the challenge is to slow down and decide for yourself how much, or how little, and do it in your own time.  I don't act quickly any more.  The other day I got a hateful communication from DS (re. blaming his sister for not 'contacting him') and I chose not to respond.  Unless I feel confident that my involvement has the potential to bear fruit, I just stay out of it.  I hope you will find a lot of comfort and encouragement here.  We are a caring group.


Welcome Tona,
I have been through much the same as you. I finally realized that my AD is entitled to her perception of her childhood. That being said, I no longer tolerate her being mean and hateful to me. If the conversation starts to stray that way, it's over. I'm not dismissing her opinions; we just will never agree on this subject so there is no point in hearing it over and over.
I have been doing that for perhaps 6 months now...I don't think her opinions have changed at all, but at least I have peace! Perhaps you might try that. Once my AD realized she was not going to be able to control me with her mean spirited ways, she no longer tries.
You can still have that close knit family you dream of...just focus your love and energy on those that treat you well.

Take care.


Oh Tona, I am sorry for you and feel your pain! So glad I found this site....I have the same problem and, for years, have driven myself crazy with blame and guilt. Sadly, my daughter now has MS and things have gotten worse. I am absolutely heartbroken over her disease and realize things have gotten worse due to the disease. She now lives with me as does her boyfriend of 20 years. They lost a home I gave them. Things are worse than ever but I do the best I can each and every day. 


Hi C and welcome to the site! I hope you have checked out our Forum agreement under the "Open Me First" page to be sure that we are a good fit for your needs.  We are a monitored website.

Your post sounds like you are absolutely stuck in your situation, a daughter with MS.......how could anyone make her fend for herself?  Sad that you had to take on the boyfriend too but I trust your judgement about that situation. 

I have just one question.....What are you doing for yourself?  You are taking care of everyone else (even the boyfriend) but are you taking care of yourself?  I tended to put everyone else's needs and desires before my own.  As mothers we are actually programmed to do this.  The entire time we are raising children it is very important to put their needs first but lets face it, my kids are grown.  Their happiness is their responsibility and comes as a direct result from their decisions since they stopped listening to me. I now live by a couple of sayings......

1) What you focus on expands!  (So I try to keep my focus on the good things in my life....it works!)
2) No news is good news!  (So I stopped worrying about what they were doing/thinking/blaming me for)
3) Not my circus, not my monkeys   (a reminder that I could not "fix" their problems, they had to)

My life has changed in marvelous ways since I started using this approach.  I know that you have your DD living with you but I feel certain you could employ at least a little of this method.  Good luck!!
Your mind is a garden your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
Author unknown